I was on my way to a job interview and I walked past this new bakery on Sutton High Street. It looked beautiful - plants spotted around the tables, vintage pictures, solid wooden shelves, the travelling aroma of freshly baked bread - it was perfect!


Before I could even start to debate whether or not I would go in, a wonderful lady invited my mother and I in with a huge, heart-warming smile. She welcomed us by giving us a tour of this brand new bakery named after her 18 week old goddaughter, Julia. 


What would have been a mundane, cold Saturday morning turned into an inspiring, cheerful morning that I will never forget! The ambience was warm and comforting, almost like home, and the staff were so friendly and kind - it almost felt like I had known them my whole life!


I sat down in one of their plush grey seats and admired the aesthetic modern decor whilst conversing with the friendly staff members. I scanned the menu and the numerous displays neatly scattered around the shop. I finally decided to order an Artisan cappuccino and a slice of their house made red velvet cake and my mother ordered an English breakfast and the smoothie of the day- it went down a treat!


I was especially impressed with the range of groups that were catered to by Julia’s. They had a vegan pistachio loaf and numerous gluten free food items as well - it is so refreshing to see local businesses making special efforts to cater to the taste of different people, especially when a lot of larger chains still struggle to do so.


As I enjoyed my coffee, my mother and I spoke with Julia’s godmother. My mum said “I love this place! It is so refreshing to be able to have conversations with friendly staff members on a cold morning like this”. The lady smiled and replied “Life can be tough and we need a lot more kindness in the world - you can have all the money in the world, but we find true happiness through kindness and doing what we love. So live life to the fullest and make sure that you enjoy what you do!”


We carried on talking and even ordered more drinks as we did. It was the best weekend I have had in a long time - it was a shame to have to leave.


I could feel myself smiling uncontrollably as I waved goodbye to my new friends - the staff were so attentive and the atmosphere was full of love! People from different backgrounds came in to try some of the amazing coffee and people looking in from outside greeted us all with smiles - it made my day, and really does show how far a bit of kindness can go.


It is incredibly important to support small local businesses, and if there is one place I would recommend, it would be Julia’s Bakery!


Renee Okoroafor-Ossai

St Philomenas’ Catholic High School for Girls